Volume 51 - Number 1 - 2010 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2010.01099

 

Abstract:

Public scholarship is central to the mission of land–grant universities and colleges of agriculture. Changes in the socioeconomic and political context of higher education signify that the future of public higher education institutions increasingly will depend on strong institutional commitment to engagement with the community. Changes in the global food system make such engagement particularly relevant for colleges of agriculture and future faculty will need to be prepared accordingly. While research on public scholarship has become more prevalent, this scholarship rarely considers the preparation of graduate students for future careers as public scholars. This study describes the extent to which graduate students at a Northeast land–grant college of agriculture are knowledgeable about and involved in promoting the land–grant mission of public scholarship. In spring 2007, graduate students were surveyed about their graduate education programs. Graduate students in life science programs were significantly less likely to know about the land–grant mission, as well as significantly less likely to participate in extension and outreach activities, than graduate students in social science programs. Our results highlight the importance of expanding the notion of graduate education to provide all graduate students with competencies necessary for building partnerships beyond the campus.

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